Click to Home
GovernmentLivingClick to HomeVisitorBusiness
HomePrint PageEmail PageTwitterFacebookRSS
Go To Search

View Other Items in this Archive | View All Archives | Printable Version

Minutes of the Regular Meeting held September 4, 2007 at 7:05 p.m. in the Council Chambers.



Mayor Lopez-Rogers and Council Members                             Chuck Wolf, Vice Mayor

                                                                                                Jim Buster

                                                                                                Frank Scott

                                                                                                Ken Weise

                                                                                                Jason Earp

                                                                                                Betty Lynch



Charlie McClendon, City Manager

Andrew McGuire, City Attorney

Shirley Gunther, Intergovernmental Affairs Manager

Scott Wilken, Senior Planner

Kelly LaRosa, Traffic Engineering Department

Linda Farris, City Clerk



Mayor Lopez-Rogers called the meeting to order and led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of reflection. 





            There were no requests to speak.



Items on the Consent Agenda are of a routine nature or have been previously studied by the City Council at a Work Session.  They are intended to be acted upon in one motion.  Council Members may pull items from consent if they would like them considered separately.


            a.  APPROVAL OF MINUTES

                        a.  Work Session of August 13, 2007

                        b.  Work Session of August 20, 2007

                        c.  Regular meeting of August 20, 2007



Council authorization to proceed with the annexation of APN 500-66-009F, 500-66-009E, 500-66-001D, 500-66-002A and 500-66-005A; 244 acres of land generally located south of Lower Buckeye Road between Avondale Blvd. and El Mirage Road. 



Ordinance accepting right-of-way and roadway easement dedication on Indian School Road at the southeast corner of Indian School Road and Dysart Road by Algonquin Water Services, LLC. 



FY 2008-2012 Transit Service Agreement with Valley Metro/RPTA to allow Avondale the opportunity to seek reimbursement, for an amount not to exceed $176,497, from Valley Metro/RPTA for FY 2007/2008 ADA expenses. 


City Attorney, Andrew McGuire, read the ordinance and resolution by title only.  Council Member Lynch moved to approve the Consent Agenda, including the ordinance and resolution.  Vice Mayor Wolf seconded the motion.




                        Council Member Earp              Aye

                        Council Member Scott  Aye

                        Council Member Buster            Aye

                        Mayor Lopez-Rogers               Aye

                        Vice Mayor Wolf                     Aye

                        Council Member Lynch            Aye

                        Council Member Weise            Aye


            Motion carried unanimously.



The Council held a public hearing regarding the proposed annexation of Parcel Numbers 101-24-009A, 101-24-007, 101-42-001C, 101-42-006D, 101-42-006C, 101-42-006B, 101-42-001D, and 101-43-001; 269.4 acres of land generally located at the southwest corner of 107th Avenue and Broadway Road.


Charlie McClendon, City Manager, informed the Council at this stage Council was required to hold a public hearing, and no other action was required but to receive input from the public.


Mayor Lopez-Rogers opened the item for public hearing.  There were no requests to speak.  Mayor Lopez-Rogers closed the public hearing.



            The Council considered a request for Site Plan approval for Avondale Coldwater, an 8.3 acre shopping center with retail and office uses located on the northwest corner of Coldwater Springs Blvd. and Avondale Blvd. 


Scott Wilken, Senior Planner, described the subject property as zoned PAD and described the surrounding properties and vehicular access.  He stated the site would include two single-story retail/restaurant buildings, two single-story office buildings, and one two-story office building, and extensive landscaping to include a 10' wide landscape buffer adjacent to the residential.  Mr. Wilken described the hardscape as stamped, colored asphalt, porcelain traffic inserts and a fountain.  He informed the Council the shopping center is proposed to be completed in three phases, the first phase being one of the retail/restaurant buildings and two of the driveways, phase two being three of the office buildings, and phase three being the remaining retail/restaurant building.  Mr. Wilken then showed the Council slides of the architecture and elevations.  He informed the Council that Staff believes that the site meets the objectives of the General Plan and the Freeway Corridor Specific Plan, it is consistent with the Coldwater Springs PAD Zoning, and it meets the requirements of the City of Avondale Zoning Ordinance.  He stated the Planning Commission recommended approval subject to the six staff recommended stipulations.  Mr. Wilken invited questions from Council.


Council questioned a shortage of parking spaces if medical office tenants were in this shopping center.  Mr. Wilken replied if the report reflected that fact, it was incorrect, because the Site Plan was designed for general office which has a requirement for one parking space for every 250 feet, while medical office requires one parking space for every 200 feet.  He informed the Council that the architect had proposed the Site Plan at one parking space for every 250 feet, but Staff had recalculated the plan to make sure that if all the office space was used for medical office, that there would be enough parking, and that is the case. 


Council asked about questions that Planning and Zoning had regarding engineering.  Mr. Wilken clarified he had checked with the Engineering Department on all questions and everything was okay.  Council discussed the use of metal roofs.  Mr. Wilken stated they had tried to minimize the use of metal roofs, and he had been talking to the applicant who may be willing to use something other than metal on the roofs if it is a concern of the Council.  Council expressed discontent with the appearance of the building, stating there was no life to the style of the building, it looked like an elementary school, it looked like the building on every street corner, it needs different architectural designs and that it needed to be spruced up and needed color.  Mr. Wilken responded the key features of this site are the extensive landscaping and the stamped, colored asphalt, as well as the palm trees lining the main stretch.  He reiterated that the applicant was willing to work with the Council to create whatever vision they wanted and Council could add stipulations. 


Some Council Members stated the metal roofs add an architectural accent.  Council Members agreed this project has to go back to the developer as this does not help the City achieve its goals for Avondale Blvd.


Council continued to discuss the metal roofs, and stated they be anodized so the color is permanent. 


Vice Mayor Wolf stated on projects fronting Avondale Blvd., he would like to see the signage package for the projects. 


Scott Wilken stated the sign package criteria was meant to be included in Councils' packets. 


Sherman Cawley, Cawley Architects, Inc. replied they could return in two weeks and they understood the comments made tonight.  He stated they had spent quite a bit of time developing the individual elements for each of the suites because they face Avondale Blvd. and took time to create the pedestrian circulation path that ties all five buildings together.  He pointed out that the back of the retail buildings have a concerted pedestrian walkway that ties them to the other three office buildings in back to make a path that connects to the street and provides integrity to the pedestrian environment inside the courtyard of the facility.  Mr. Cawley stated they were open to the colors and working with Staff and Council. 


Mr. Cawley stated they had designed the project eight months ago and started with the City six months ago, and thus had not been privy to Council's current thinking, and they would like an opportunity to update their plans because it would make a better project all the way around. 


Vice Mayor Wolf moved to continue the request for Site Plan approval for Avondale Coldwater I (DR-06-20) to September 17, 2007.  Council Member Lynch seconded the motion. 




                        Council Member Earp              Aye

                        Council Member Scott  Aye

                        Council Member Buster            Aye

                        Mayor Lopez-Rogers               Aye

                        Vice Mayor Wolf                     Aye

                        Council Member Lynch            Aye

                        Council Member Weise            Aye


            Motion carried unanimously.



MAG Regional Council recommendation of $6 million to reimburse interest costs for the Interstate 10 acceleration project. 


Shirley Gunther, Intergovernmental Affairs Manager, stated she wished to provide a background on the MAG project, stating that on April 4, 2006, Avondale, Buckeye, Litchfield Park and Goodyear had a meeting where Goodyear City Manager, Steve Cleveland, explained that through financing mechanisms the widening of I-10 could be accelerated.  She stated the Councils agreed at that time to move forward and seek additional funding options, and on April 14, 2006 the MAG Regional Council approved seeking alternative funding through HELP and GANs for the I-10 acceleration project.  Ms. Gunther stated in June 2006, Governor Napolitano signed the Statewide Transportation Acceleration Needs (STAN) account legislation to deal with highway acceleration projects, which became effective in September of 2006.  She explained it was then that the Mayor and Council learned that the Avondale/Goodyear portion of the I-10 was not eligible for funding because the STAN legislation did not specifically state that interest is reimbursable for projects such as the I-10.  At that point, Representative John Nelson recommended amending the law to allow interest to be reimbursed through HB 2562, which was then amended onto HB 2793.  She explained HB 2793 will include $10 million in interest reimbursement for the I-10 project and $10 million for a project in Queen Creek. 


Ms. Gunther further explained that HB 2793 also requires that MAG make recommendations for the funding priorities and forward those recommendations to the State Transportation Board for final review and approval.  She stated the MAG Management Committee heard the interest issue on August 8, 2007 and approved the project by a vote of 19-6, and on August 20, 2007 the MAG Transportation Policy Committee approved the project 12-4, and on August 22, 2007 the MAG Regional Council would have approved the project by a vote of 14-10; however, a weighted vote was called, so the motion died.  Ms. Gunther explained a new motion was called and passed to allow $6 million of the $10 million to be applied to the I-10 project and the other $4 million would go back into the MAG program for program costs.  Ms. Gunther summarized, stating the MAG Council has asked the cities to return to their Councils and receive input on their recommendation that 60% be applied to the local share and 40% be applied to the program share. 


Mayor Lopez-Rogers noted Representative Nelson was present and thanked him for his support in resolving the I-10 issue, and thanked the West Valley Mayors for their assistance in this effort.  She stated she wished to make it perfectly clear that Avondale has been committed to improving the I-10 because of the accident rates and because it is a national corridor running from California to Florida with significant economic and national security issues relevant to all Maricopa cities and to the State.  She stated what was always uncertain was how the project would be funded, and as the Mayor of Avondale, and speaking for Mayor Schoaf of Litchfield Park, they believe it is their obligation as Mayors to pursue all funding options so that local residents are not stuck with the tab.  Mayor Lopez-Rogers frankly stated that while this position has put them at odds with their partner in Goodyear, Mayor Cavanaugh never shared that same conviction and instead has stated "he does not care who pays for it."  She declared she is not sure that his taxpayers are willing to take on a 10 million dollar cost for funding a Federal highway, and while he seems to think that is okay, she does not.  Therefore, she stated the City has stuck to its commitment to push forward.  Mayor Lopez-Rogers stated she had direction from this Council to go for the full funding, and that is what was pursued.  Mayor Lopez-Rogers invited questions or comments from Council.


Council Member Weise inquired where the 60-40 split came from.  He stated he had understood that the legislature was onboard, Representative Nelson had worked to get this done, Governor Napolitano was onboard, MAG was onboard, and the funding was for 10 million dollars.  He asked when the 60-40 split idea came up, had Mayor Cavanaugh asked to talk to his partners.


Mayor Lopez-Rogers interjected in response to Council Member Weise, stating that before the Bill went before the MAG Transportation Policy Committee (TPC), Mayor Schoaf, Mayor Cavanaugh, and she met and talked to their business partners, and at that time Mayor Cavanaugh had said he had a meeting with Phoenix and Mesa and he had been asked to please not make any deals.  She stated unfortunately a deal was cut that Avondale would get a 40-60 split.  Mayor Lopez-Rogers explained that going into the MAG TPC meeting, she believes that was the understanding that Phoenix and Mesa had; however, having never talked to Mayor Cavanaugh, she had no idea that this deal had been cut.  Council Member Weise asked if Mayor Cavanaugh had decided that all three cities would be willing to pay 40 percent of this project.  Mayor Lopez-Rogers replied she assumed that was so. 


Mayor Lopez-Rogers stated that in a conversation with Mayor Cavanaugh, he indicated he wanted to stay neutral, so he would not be advocating for any funding.  Council Member Weise clarified that Mayor Cavanaugh, who is the architect of this historic, four-city meeting in April 2006, decided to stay neutral when it came to lobbying Federal legislatures.  Mayor Lopez-Rogers stated that was correct, the statement he made to Mayor Schoaf and she was that "he did not care who paid for it as long as it got done." 


Council Member Weise asked Ms. Gunther if during the process with Representative Nelson, Senator Blendu, and other legislators, what kind of input was there from Goodyear staff.  Ms. Gunther responded that Goodyear's position was that since Mayor Cavanaugh was the Chairman of the Regional Council, he wanted to remain neutral and removed from any legislative endeavor at the State level. 


Council Member Weise asked Mayor Lopez-Rogers what conversations she had had with Goodyear since last week on this issue.  Mayor Lopez-Rogers responded there had been no further conversations on this issue.


Council Member Buster stated this is a testament to what can happen, as the cities have been working together to get a significant portion of that 10 million dollars, hopefully this week, and this just shows what can be done when we work together.  He stated credit should be given to the Council, the Mayor, Ms. Gunther, the legislative delegation, and Representative Nelson.  Council Member Buster recommended the Mayor be given the ability to negotiate something north of 60-40.


Council Member Scott thanked Representative Nelson for his help and the Council and Staff.  He stated while some people call this earmarking, this is a Federal highway.  He stated he is glad to see that Council is willing to work the extra hours to put the least burden, if any, on the citizens.  Council Member Scott stated Mayor Cavanaugh could speak for his city, but not for Avondale, and he did not like the deal making, and encouraged Mayor Lopez-Rogers to inform MAG that a 60-40 split is not acceptable to Avondale and he sees no reason why 4 million dollars should go back into a pool.


Council Member Earp stated he agreed with the other comments made by the Council and stated he is not satisfied with the 60-40 split either.  He recommended a 100-0 or 90-10 split.


Mayor Lopez-Rogers stated the bottom line is that Avondale and Litchfield Park did play by the rules and did everything they were supposed to do, and this is a regional highway and received regional support.  She stated if the weighted vote had not been called, the Council would be approving an IGA tonight.  She thanked the Council for supporting the efforts that have been made and the legislative intent of giving 10 million dollars.  Mayor Lopez-Rogers stated this was a slap in the face to the legislators.  She informed the Council she took their direction seriously and vowed to fight for the full amount, and what she was hearing is that we should be going back to the table.


Council Member Weise stated he had watched the Goodyear Council meeting on their web cast and some of the comments were disturbing to him.  He stated the figures show that since 2004 there have been 12 deaths on I-10 in the areas the Council is concerned with and while their impact should not be lessened, the Council should never use the memories of people to advance the Council's political agendas or any kind of civic project.  He stated he would agree with the right to say how one feels, but Mayor Cavanaugh had stated the east side cities and cities who voted against this had legitimate arguments, and he would vehemently disagree with that.  Council Member Weise stated Avondale had went through all the correct processes and took all necessary steps, and the only reason it was being discussed tonight is because Goodyear decided to gang up on Avondale and work with Mesa, Tempe, Chandler and Scottsdale to sabotage the funding that Avondale had worked to get.  He stated this bothers him because in the last years he has been on the Council, Avondale has carried the water for Resolutions for the City of Phoenix, the City of Goodyear and other cities, and if these cities do not think that the widening of I-10 affects them, they are foolish. 


Council Member Weise asked if last year Goodyear received money from STAN for the widening of I-10.  Ms. Gunther responded that Goodyear and Buckeye had received approximately 49 million dollars to widen the I-10 from Sarival Avenue to Verrado from the STAN fund.  Council Member Weise inquired if Goodyear had given away 40 percent of that money and guessed the answer was no.  He guessed when Mayor Cavanaugh talked about partnership, partnership meant go it alone and never discuss anything, while when Avondale discusses being partners with Litchfield, it means we are all in this together.  Council Member Weise encouraged Mayor Lopez-Rogers that if she could do better than 60-40, to have at it, but he would no longer carry water for the City of Goodyear on projects that they want to get done in their city.


Vice Mayor Wolf stated he is furious about this and what really bothers him is the concept that Avondale is not being regional, and he does not agree.  He stated in the beginning Avondale had agreed with Buckeye, Litchfield Park and Goodyear to accelerate this State and Federal project, and at that meeting Avondale was told to go get the money, and the legislators have worked hard for two consecutive years and Representative Nelson has led the charge, and they got the money.  He reiterated that Avondale was told to fix the legislation and the legislators went to bat and made this a priority, and so did Council, while there were certainly other issues they could have been lobbying for.  Vice Mayor Wolf stated Avondale has supported Phoenix on the 202 alignment and the Cart Race and have invested regional time and money, and Avondale has taken the lead on behalf of the region, including Goodyear, to get the money, and now they find out Goodyear is willing to increase the burden on their residents, but also the residents of Litchfield Park and Avondale, and he finds this regrettable.  He also finds it regrettable that the region preaching regionalism to him every single time he talks to one of their members is now changing their tune, and he reiterated this is not an earmark.  Vice Mayor Wolf stated he is still willing to work regionally because it is important and stated this freeway is critically important and does need to be widened, and Avondale will have to work with MAG.  He opined what has happened within MAG undermines the regional component that MAG brings to the table, and stated that greatly bothers him.  Vice Mayor Wolf encouraged Mayor Lopez-Rogers to work with MAG on the funding and look for an 80-20 split, which he considers his minimum split.  He stated anything less than 10 million dollars is MAG not thinking regionally.  He stated 10 million is what Avondale deserves and 60-40 is ridiculous.


Council Member Lynch thanked Representative Nelson for his work and Ms. Gunther for her hours.  She stated she is extremely concerned that they have gotten something through the legislature for very specific funding and now someone is changing the rules, and wonders where that will leave Avondale in the eyes of the legislature going forward.  Council Member Lynch then read a statement for the record.


'I have read the comments regarding the MAG meeting in the various papers.  I believe I can clarify what brought us to this point since when I was Vice Mayor in 2004-05, I represented Avondale at many meetings convened in Goodyear City Hall.  I'm saying convened because they were convened there; they were not led by Goodyear.  They were led by Avondale and mainly by Charlie.  We were both in attendance.  We were both in attendance at a number of mayor and manager meetings, where although we did not have a transportation staff, Charlie was assigned to go back and get answers on several occasions, once by the City of Youngtown, secondly by the City of Goodyear, which had more staff than we do.  Charlie went back, and between he and Staff, he did the calculations that needed to be done to find out what would work and what it would cost.  He did a great job even though, as I said, others had more staff. 


At the Goodyear meetings, Rep. Nelson, Wiers and Senator Blendu were all in attendance.  It was our Legislative Representatives who suggested they should bring the STAN issue to the Legislature, thus STAN 1 was passed, but left out the very issue that we are addressing.  Thus they went back and Rep. Nelson was the key that went back and brought forward STAN 2.  It was at that point that this allowed the signing of the infamous document in early 2006 to move ahead with the plans for I-10.


While our cities supported the correction, they did not propose it.  They did not bring about any earmarks.  All of the cities in the County, as well as MAG, had the opportunity to hear and address the issues during the Legislative Session.  They did not, nor did they verbally support what the Legislature was trying to accomplish.  So the bill was passed and signed by the Governor. 


All of a sudden because the West Valley got something to help them build a Federal Highway, mayhem began and earmarking was the charge.  I do not believe any other cities in the County, or perhaps the State, have built, repaired or even widened a Federal Highway.  They have done roads of significant value to their own cities.  However, in order to get truck and other traffic through our cities and to their cities, and to save the lives of our residents, we stepped forward to the plate to do what Congress refuses to do - widen and improve the road.  And some of this was discussed in 2004 at the Arizona League of Cities Conference.


While I think it is very unfair that our cities chose to use the tactic they did, I also think we should not have stooped to their level and let our tempers get the best of us, at least that is what the papers said happened.  We knew several days in advance they would probably pull this tactic, so maybe we should have held a Special Council Meeting, who knows, and given direction to the Mayor.  Since we did not, she was obligated to take it back to us for discussion.


My personal belief, and several Council Members have already said this, is that we go for the $8 million.  We’ve heard it already bantered about.  If we cannot do that, then we could settle for $7 million, but certainly not $6 million.  We should avoid any name calling or any form of personal or other charges that go down to their level.  We step up to the plate, we take the money, and we move ahead to find the balance to pay for the roadway.  I know it means dollars from our taxpayers and our general fund, but at least it will be over seven years and give us time to put it in the CIP and move forward on a positive basis.


As John F. Kennedy said, “Actions deferred are all too often lost opportunities.”  We have this one more opportunity to stand up for Avondale and the region and build this road whether we agree with all that has happened or not.  Let’s take the positive route.'


Mayor Lopez-Rogers stated she had the direction she needed and thanked Ms. Gunther for her presentation. 




Kelly LaRosa, Traffic Engineering Department, started with the background, stating the I-10 widening was being completed in two parts:  A median widening which will create an additional general purpose lane and a new HOV lane, and outside widening which will create an additional general purpose lane.  She stated the City of Avondale has jurisdiction of 107th Avenue under I-10, and ADOT has jurisdiction of the I-10 Freeway.  Ms. LaRosa stated the Avondale Transportation Plan demonstrated the need to widen 107th Avenue to 6 lanes and the current overpass bridge structure on I-10 over 107th Avenue is not wide enough to do that.  She stated Staff had requested that ADOT explore the cost to replace the structure to accommodate Avondale's future needs, and ADOT had determined the cost to be approximately 4 million dollars.  She explained that in late June 2007, ADOT had met with Staff and graciously offered to evenly share in the cost of the replacement structure, which Staff considered a good deal.  Ms. LaRosa mentioned the aesthetic enhancements would be addressed in another IGA to be brought before Council in the future. 


For the current Joint Project Agreement, Ms. LaRosa explained that the State will act as the lead agency and will provide the design plans, specifications, and other documents, and the services required for construction, and will bid and award the construction contracts and perform the inspections.  She outlined the State will invoice the City $300,000 due 30 days after award of the construction contract by the State Transportation Board, $300,000 due 120 days after award of the construction contract, and $1,419,334.50 on or after July 1, 2008.  Ms. La Rosa explained that the City will review the design documents, will be responsible for 50% of the project costs, will remit payment to the State within 30 days upon receipt of invoices, and will be responsible for all maintenance within the City's jurisdiction. 


Ms. LaRosa explained to the Council that to accommodate the cost, Staff proposes that a line item for the 107th Avenue overpass structure on the I-10 project will need to be created, and funding for this project can be made available through the cost savings of a CIP project, that of the traffic signal at Indian School Road and El Mirage which has $500,000 available due to project cost savings and cost participation from Maricopa County.  She stated additional funding can be obtained by changing the schedules of two CIP projects:  The deferral of the Avondale Blvd. – Northbound at I-10, Right Turn Lanes, which will attribute $420,000, and the Buckeye Road – 107th Avenue to Avondale, Medians, which will attribute $1,200,000.  Ms. LaRosa stated Staff proposes to have a Resolution by October 1, 2007.


Charlie McClendon, City Manager, added that the northbound duel right turn lanes from Avondale Blvd. onto the I-10 was designed, and then ADOT indicated that the City would need to redo part of the ramps because of the way the slope was changing, which dramatically increased the costs.  He stated when the City does the widening of the underpass at I-10 and Avondale Blvd., that project can be incorporated with that and both projects can be done at that time.



a.  Vice Mayor Wolf moved to hold an Executive Session pursuant to ARIZ. REV. STAT § 38-431.03 (A) (7) for discussion or consultation with City representatives in order to consider its position and instruct its representatives regarding negotiations for the sale of real property, and (ii) REV. STAT. § 38-431.03 (A) (4) for discussion or consultation with the City's attorney in order to consider its position and instruct the City's attorney regarding the Council's position regarding an Intergovernmental Agreement.


Council Member Weise seconded the motion. 




                        Council Member Earp              Aye

                        Council Member Scott  Aye

                        Council Member Buster            Aye

                        Mayor Lopez-Rogers               Aye

                        Vice Mayor Wolf                     Aye

                        Council Member Lynch            Aye

                        Council Member Weise            Aye


            Motion carried unanimously.


9)         ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Council, Council Member XXXX moved to adjourn.  XXXXX seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.


Meeting adjourned at xxxxx   p.m.





                                                                                                Mayor Lopez-Rogers




Linda M. Farris, CMC

City Clerk




I hereby certify that the foregoing minutes are a true and correct copy of the minutes of the regular meeting of the Council of the City of Avondale held on the 4th day of September, 2007.  I further certify that the meeting was duly called and held and that the quorum was present.




City Clerk